"Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility."
Saint Augustine was quoted as saying that during his lifetime. The quote, which was true when he uttered it around the year 420, is still true today in 2004. Entertainers often dream of growing their business in terms of revenue, volume, or quality on a regular basis. The aspirations of true success always seem to be just "too far" to grasp and therefore they feel relegated to mediocrity and even may feel it is their destiny. But, it doesn't have to be that way.
Growing your business successfully needs to be done with a plan. You need to know what the intended end result of your effort is going to be before you start. Could you imagine taking a trip with no destination in mind? How would you know when you arrived?
The answer? You wouldn't. While some of us may think that aimlessly drifting around might seem relaxing for a vacation, the reality is that for a business it can prove disastrous. You may not go broke immediately but the end result will be similar.
My proposal is that before you consider growing your business from the point you are now positioned that you actually dismantle your business and rebuild it from scratch. Why? Many of the decisions that you have made about your business over time have probably been made with the idea of immediate opportunity and not with the grand scheme of your business operation. As we become more experienced in this business we rarely, if ever, reflect on our past decisions to see if they are still the right choice for our individual businesses.
The items you may decide to reevaluate may be broad issues such as the type of business you go after or they may be as minute as the type of table skirt you use for your setup. For example, you may have begun your business during the Mid 80's during the heyday of school dances. You may have been younger and able to relate to the crowd much easier than you do now or possibly the entire market vanished while you weren't paying attention. In the latter situation, there is no amount of action on your part that is going to bring that market back.
So, we do a mulligan. We figuratively rip apart our business and began as if we were beginning it from scratch, but this time we do it armed with the knowledge we have gained over the years. I believe it is the best idea to start with the form of business that you currently operate. Most entertainment companies were started as either sole proprietorships or possibly partnerships. You may discover that the best form of business for you to operate is a Limited Liability Corporation or an S Corp. The circumstances of each company are different and there are no "one size fits all" situations. If you are having a hard time deciding which form of business to operate you may need to consult with a lawyer, accountant, or both.
Next, you may want to consider the name of your company. Does it fit what you do? Does it fit the image you want to convey? I love to tell the story of a BBQ restaurant that was located here in my hometown. The BBQ was fantastic. But, the restaurant had a terrible time getting customers in their door. The name of the restaurant was Nasty's BBQ. Even though the food was superb it was hard to get someone through the door of a restaurant that called itself Nasty's. It was subliminal but it was true. Today, the restaurant is called Bill's BBQ and on just about any weeknight you have to wait 30 minutes + for a table at Bill's. True story. It was a EUREKA moment for the owner of that establishment. What message does your name convey?
The task may seem daunting at first because the idea of "starting over" does not seem fun. But, I guarantee it will be the most effective time spent in terms of building a strong foundation for Back To The BasicsBy Kyle McPeckyour business and launching past your competition.
Next month, we will explore more ideas in helping you build a strong foundation for your business today so that you may have a brighter tomorrow. I wish you much success. Kyle McPeck is a mobile entertainer and entrepreneur based in Zanesville, OH. He is the co-author of two books, Consistently Successful and The Wedding Ceremony and Reception Handbook and the owner of the DJ Success List located at http://wwwmcpeck.com/djsuccess. He welcomes your questions and comments by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.